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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old March 18th, 2011, 04:53 AM   #1
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Ex1r questions

I am ready to buy the sony PMW EX1R and i have some questions:
I have no money for SxS cards that's why i will use only SxS to SD adapter. Is it safe?
I want to record in 2 storages at the same time for safety. Can the camera do it in both SxS drives with SD adapters?
Is it better to record in one SxS drive and for backup in other storage type and if yes in which storage type?
The sony dealer told me that if you use the camera in handheld mode then don't try to back up with Hard discs because it is not safe for the hard disc because of the vibrations. Is that correct?
Which is the best set up for recording in 2 storage types at the same time?
which adapter is better for the camera and which SD cards?

thanks in advance
Kostas
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Old March 18th, 2011, 05:26 AM   #2
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Re: Ex1r questions

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Originally Posted by Kostas Rose View Post
I am ready to buy the sony PMW EX1R and i have some questions:
I have no money for SxS cards that's why i will use only SxS to SD adapter. Is it safe?
I want to record in 2 storages at the same time for safety. Can the camera do it in both SxS drives with SD adapters?
Is it better to record in one SxS drive and for backup in other storage type and if yes in which storage type?
The sony dealer told me that if you use the camera in handheld mode then don't try to back up with Hard discs because it is not safe for the hard disc because of the vibrations. Is that correct?
Which is the best set up for recording in 2 storage types at the same time?
which adapter is better for the camera and which SD cards?

thanks in advance
Kostas
In my experience the MxM adaptors are the premium choice, and the only SD cards worth considering are ATP Pro Max or Sandisk Extreme. I have found this combination of adaptors and cards extremely durable and have shot hundreds of hours of footage on them without incident.

You may be tempted to buy cheap SDHC cards. That's your call. Many cards work but I prefer to put my trust in premium brands who publish specifications about their cards operating parameters. Remember a good card will last you years.

Don't be tempted by the Sony SDHC adaptor as they are overpriced and seem to offer nothing over other brands other than a sticker saying "Sony".

If you are looking for a hard disk recorder, MxM sell a solution which uses a SSD. Again I have been using this unit for about 4 months now and it's been a joy to use. The only consideration with a SSD unit is extra weight on the camera when handheld. I prefer to only use mine on a tripod.

If you do need a backup, you'll need something like the Nanoflash or one of the cheaper variants that now seem to be cropping up. You shouldn't really need it though. The Nanoflash (and variants) are the only way to simultaneously record to two devices at once.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: Ex1r questions

before some minutes sony dealer call me and told me that the adaptors are MxR and free as a gift from him but i must buy the new sandisk cards and are faster than class 10.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 07:33 AM   #4
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Re: Ex1r questions

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Originally Posted by Kostas Rose View Post
before some minutes sony dealer call me and told me that the adaptors are MxR and free as a gift from him but i must buy the new sandisk cards and are faster than class 10.
Class 6 is fast enough for the EX1, Class 10 is also fine. These days I buy Class 10 ATP's or Sandisks but most of my cards are Class 6 ATP's and they are faultless.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #5
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Re: Ex1r questions

In my opinion, you are making a mistake. SxS cards are very reliable and the EX1R comes with a 16GB SxS Pro card to get you going.

You cannot record to both slots at the same time. To get a second HD recording, you need a device that hooks up via the HD SDI output. Those devices also need power and a place to mount.

Take the money you are going to spend on a second device/battery/accessories and purchase used SxS cards on eBay or an SxS-1 32GB card which are less expensive than the SxS Pro.

The only SDHC that sees my EX1R is a Hoodman Raw 32GB (made by MxM) which is for emergency backup only. It is not flawless like my SxS cards have been.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:37 AM   #6
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Re: Ex1r questions

so the only way to record in a second storage type at the same time is only nanoflash or datavideo etc.?
Camera can't wright at the same time in both slots?
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Old March 18th, 2011, 09:46 AM   #7
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Re: Ex1r questions

Correct. Simultaneous recording is done via the HD SDI output port.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #8
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Re: Ex1r questions

Les - could you please expand on the recording failures you've had with the Hoodman RAW? I'm using a couple of the 16GB RAW cards in the Hoodman branded adapters. Perfect so far. Anything we should watch out for? Thanks.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #9
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Re: Ex1r questions

Keith,

Hoodman is also a good choice - in fact, they are rebranded MxM!

I concur with what Markus says: MxM adapters never fail; not with class 6 or class 10 cards at least.

Piotr
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Old March 24th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #10
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Re: Ex1r questions

I formated the Hoodman card in the EX1r. My uses of the card were either to
1) Copy SxS cards onto the Hoodman which I then backed up on a Nexto DI 2700 via the SDHC. This was for footage that I wanted to have two copies of.
2) Record onto the Hoodman if I ran out of SxS

Once or twice I had to record onto the Hoodman and maybe 5 or 6 times, I did the shuttle of data off of an SxS card.

Over the course of my trip, one time the EX1r complained of the Hoodman being unrecognized media. My memory is faded on this but I got around it. Probably by restarting the camera and then reinserting the card.

The other glitch was the second or third time I shuttled data to the Hoodman, it wasn't storing a full 32GB. Somehow, it only had a capacity of a 16GB card. I reformatted and went on.

I realize putting the SDHC into the Nexto is a variable treating it as an SxS card only won't have and could be why I had the glitches I did. Furthermore, just having it be an SDHC design enabled me the piece of mind to shuttle the data to the Nexto 2700 for extra backup. I was glad to buy the Hoodman instead of the much more expensive Nexto that stores SxS cards via the USB or the outrageously more expensive Nexto that takes SxS directly. The Hoodman served as an emergency SxS, emergency SDHC for my TM-700 and a shuttle to the Nexto.

I lost no data whatsoever and the only glitch that bothered me was the unrecognized media. Unfortunately, I can't say for sure that it happened without the SDHC card having been inserted into the Nexto which in theory should be entirely read only but .......

I'm of the opinion that MxM/Hoodman are the best non-SxS choice but I would not depend on them like I do SxS. I kept my SxS costs down by getting the MxM SSD recorder with a spinning disk to wrangle cards to at the end of the day as backup #1. Shuttling the data via the Hoodman to the Nexto was backup #2 for photographer, my Ex1R and my TM-700. YMMV
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Old March 24th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #11
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Re: Ex1r questions

Well, of course I cannot deny that what you're describing might happen. But my $0.03 would be that the Expresscard adapter + SDHC card combos are most reliable when used as such, i.e. as an Expresscard with USB interface. This is how I copy, transfer, etc. - never remove the SDHC card for those purposes.

Frequent inserting/removing the SDHC card might bring about some additional problems, which should be avoided to minimize any risk of disaster.

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Old March 24th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #12
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Re: Ex1r questions

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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post

Frequent inserting/removing the SDHC card might bring about some additional problems, which should be avoided to minimize any risk of disaster.
If you use an SxS card you don't have to worry about avoiding things to minimize the risk of disaster. best way to minimize the risk of disaster is to use the recording media the system was designed for.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 01:32 PM   #13
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Re: Ex1r questions

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If you use an SxS card you don't have to worry about avoiding things to minimize the risk of disaster. best way to minimize the risk of disaster is to use the recording media the system was designed for.
Since, for example, a ATP Pro Max SDHC card is rated for 20,000 insertions as a minimum, you're going to have a sore finger before you've worn it out.

And in anycase, the system is designed for SDHC. Sony have even released their own overpriced adaptor.

All we ever seem to hear is SxS is worth the money because it doesn't go wrong yet we still see posts with people having problems. It's all flash memory, it all can go wrong and the only difference is low manufacturing volumes and some hefty mark-up mean that SxS costs twice as much as it should.

Somehow SxS going wrong still means the media is worth the money. SDHC going wrong is seen as proof that it is unreliable. All things being equal they actually seem about the same when you use the latest cards with the latest adaptors.

And if someone uses a cheap SDHC card in an old adaptor and comes to grief it doesn't mean that SDHC is unreliable. It means they can't follow best practice and are out on their own.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 04:40 PM   #14
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Re: Ex1r questions

I've had an EX1 for over 3 years now, and never a problem with my SxS cards.
I also have some Hoodman adapters / RAW cards - which I use if I need additional recording beyond my 5 hours of SxS. They have also performed properly.
I've tried placing other brands of SDHC cards in the Hoodman adapter, and have at times received 'unrecognized card' messages, and even had a card that started recording and after about 15 seconds just stopped. (Luckily I was testing on my time in my office, and not on a client's shoot.)
But having said all that, the thing that I like best about the SxS cards is their offloading speed. I'm doing my own data wrangling on most productions, sometimes for an additional camera as well when the producer decides to 'get creative', and the idea that I can offload a 16GB SxS card to my Nexto drive in 3 minutes means that much more time that I don't need to be dealing with data at the end of the day! Long story short, I just added 2 - 32GB SxS-G1a cards to the 88GB of SxS cards I already own.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:20 PM   #15
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Re: Ex1r questions

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Originally Posted by Dave Sperling View Post
I've had an EX1 for over 3 years now, and never a problem with my SxS cards.
I also have some Hoodman adapters / RAW cards - which I use if I need additional recording beyond my 5 hours of SxS. They have also performed properly.
I've tried placing other brands of SDHC cards in the Hoodman adapter, and have at times received 'unrecognized card' messages,
It's been long established that not all SDHC cards are born equal and that many cards will fail on the EX1 (especially if you are on old firmware). I and others on this forum have consistently encouraged users only to use only certain brands of cards that have been extensively tested and are manufactured to high standards. And obviously to ensure the camera is on the firmware update where SDHC support was added by Sony.

Remember the days of VHS tape? They all said "VHS" on the box and worked in the machine, but the cheap own brand tapes from Tandy/Radio Shack gave an awful picture while the premium Scotch tapes gave a good picture. If you did your research you'd know that the premium tapes gave better performance than the budget tapes. It's the same with SDHC. Not all cards are the same despite what the label claims. There are large performance differences.

Just because a card says "Class 6" or "Class 10" on it doesn't mean its any good. The only cards that go near my camera are ATP Pro Max and Sandisk Extreme. Two of the more expensive SDHC cards. They are tested, they work, they haven't given me any problems at all.
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